Thursday, December 15, 2011

Forgery or Fark Up: the smoking gun?

The page of the document originally from August, 2007, mislabeled March 31, 2007, presented by CEPD Minister Liu this week and used in the botched smear of Tsai Ing-wen. Note that this document is a low quality copy. The text giving the date appears to have been placed on top of the copy of the document, right across the line of the original box. For comparison, an unaltered copy of the original is shown below.

Minister Liu of the CEPD says that the date was added simply to clarify the original date of this presentation and was not intended to be a forgery. Note that the March 31 date on this document places Tsai at this meeting when she was still the premier, meaning that this would indeed be a serious violation. No other date would have had this effect. The date was not picked by coincidence.

The original document is entirely in English. Only the date is in Chinese.

The date appears to have been placed over a copy on clear tape and then transferred to the text by making another copy. Notice how the line of the text box with the title goes through the date. Why would anyone who innocently wanted to assign a date to the document go to all that bother? A mere sticker, common in any large office, placed anywhere on the page would have the same effect and further, show that the date was placed on it later, making it pure error and not botched forgery. There would then have been no need to make a second copy to transfer the date to the document and give the appearance that it had been original to the text.

In other words, this looks quite a lot like a hasty and incompetent forgery. Minister Liu maintains that it is merely an innocent mistake.

It could have been typed directly onto the copy.... but why in that spot?

UPDATED: Didn't see the Taipei Times this morning, which also has the pics. In addition to condemning the use of special prosecutors, which appeared to be purely political (indeed, sometimes it seems the special in special prosecutors refers only to their use in political cases against the DPP), the DPP also pointed to what it said was also an indicator of forgery:
While Liu apologized on Tuesday evening for “confusing the dates” of the document, her refusal to say the document had been fabricated was the reason behind the DPP’s decision to file the lawsuit, Chen said at a press conference.

Liu’s mistake was more than carelessly misstating the date, Chen said, as the document appeared to have been fabricated before Monday because Liu repeatedly said in the press conference that “the March 31 document” was important in determining Tsai’s role in the case.

At the press conference on Tuesday evening in which she ostensibly apologized, Liu said there were what she called “more questionable points” concerning the Yu Chang case, Chen added.

This case is huge -- with the Veep candidate's wife, Tsai Ling-yi, claiming that Tsai Ing-wen downloaded US$36 million to her personal accounts -- the legal issues could go on for years. The TT reported "Tsai Ling-yi said last night she “could have cited incorrect information.”"

UPDATE 2: The DPP announces another alteration -- "Attachment No 3" was whited out of the original document before a copy was made.

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Tommy said...

What stumps me is that, in light of how damaging the case could potentially be for Tsai, why anyone would make a hasty forgery that could so easily be discounted. Whoever is behind this clearly had plenty of time to prepare. Unless, the forgery was outsourced to an underling with no experience in forgery. Could Liu have been sure that she could get mileage out of the March 31 date, or been assured of the correctness of the March 31 date, without seeing the forgery itself?

Or perhaps someone was thinking that it would be wise to maintain some plausible deniability, confident that the charges and subsequent investigation would take on a life of their own, while the issue of the document itself could be forgotten later.

Regardless of whether this is forgery or a simple mistake, it shows that someone within the KMT camp or Ma administration was not thinking all too clearly about potential outcomes. That, in itself, is troublesome. Perhaps there is something indeed to the claims that KMT insiders are getting desperate. How else could such a mistake be allowed to happen?

Michael Turton said...

Yes, it means that no one reviewed the document before the press conference, and neither did Ms. Liu. The botchery is so stupid it can't be forged. What forger could be so dumb? Nothing about it makes any sense -- unless - heh -- there's a DPP plant in the CEPD that decided he'd have fun with the KMT. The KMT has already tried twice with this scandal, in 2008 and again in the last taoyuan election. So probably many DPPers had to know it was coming...

Taiwan Echo said...

In an attempt to excuse themselves from the forgery charge, one of Ma's spokespersons, Lin Yihua (林奕華) had a slip of tone, said in a talk show that the KMT, in an internal meeting with Liu Yi-ru (劉憶如), in fact knew that the document date was not right:

But it seems that they decided to pretend that it is correct and used that to attack Tsai anyway.

It, then, won't be surprised that when the forgery was exposed by evidence provided by the DPP, Premier Wu said that it doesn't matter if it is forged -- he insists that Tsai Ing-wen is guilty either way.

The same video also reveals that Tsai Lingyi (蔡令怡), Premier Wu's wife, has been frequently spreading fabricated stories to frame the DPP for a long time, up to a point that people who know are afraid that it is gonna go kaboom sooner or later.

The above info was provided by pro-KMT people, not by the green supporters.

Taiwan Echo said...


There is a 3rd version of the copy.

The Fig.2 in your article is the original one sent by Chen Lan-po.

After it was sent in to the government (in 2007), when Tsai was already left the gov, it was filed with a remark, most probably by the filer:

Attachment #3

That is the 3rd version that I am talking about. You can see it on the top right corner revealed by the KMT in an announcement to journalists:

The time was 12/12, Monday night.

After that announcement, KMT's legislator, Lin Yishi (林益世) found that there is an "Attachment #3", and worried that people will ask what #1 and #2 are about. So he committed ANOTHER forgery by erasing "Attachment #3", making it the final version, as the Fig. 1 you showed here.

Lin released it to the public the next day (Tuesday) in a press conference.

This was revealed in a political talk show here.

So they committed forgery twice, one by the government (Liu Yi-ru), another one by the KMT legislator Lin Yishi.

So far, the gov and the KMT haven't released the main part of the document, as well as attachment #1 and #2. So people are wondering what they are.

jeffspnov13 said...

As others have stated, it would be simple to place a sticky note or pencil in a reminder date. Instead, whoever placed the date took the time to line it up straight and made a copy out of it. They were obviously stupid to put it in Chinese, so I agree that it is an incompetent forgery.

Competent or not, this forgery would probably have lead to the premature arrest of DPP's Tsai Ing Wen due to the workings of the politically driven "special investigation division". The only thing that prevented this forgery from successfully framing Tsai Ing Wen was the fact that the DPP actually had an original copy to clear Tsai's name, rather than the fact that the forgery was so incompetent.

My opinion is that this kind of smear tactic is common within the KMT, and they've always been able to get away with it due to their control of the special investigation division as well as the media. This time it just happened to backfire in a really bad way for the KMT.

jeffspnov13 said...

Even if this were a simple, innocent mistake by the KMT and/or Liu, this would still put serious doubt in one's mind in the their ability to function and govern appropriately. There are documents to be filed all the time and this kind of mistake can not be accepted. That's IF this is a mistake...

Taiwan Echo said...

When you changed the document, you commit forgery. It doesn't matter if the change was made because of unintentional mistake, or intentional smearing.

That is,

smearing -> Change -> Forgery
misplace -> Change -> Forgery

What the KMT trying to do is to twist it into:

smearing -> Change -> Forgery
misplace -> Change -> misplace

They distort the position of "misplace."

Taiwan Echo said...

Even if this were a simple, innocent mistake by the KMT and/or Liu

Innocent or not, a forgery is a forgery